Harlem Legend Michael Douglas underestimated the Upshur All-Stars team when he predicted at last week's Buckhannon Rotary meeting they would only score 12 points against the Legends.
The Upshur All-Stars team scored much higher than 12 despite Douglas' attempt to shorten an Upshur All-Stars member's long socks, who was prepping for a free throw during Friday's game. The final score of the charity game saw the Legends winning 82 to 69 at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.
"I really think that the Legends had a tough time. They had to work harder," event coordinator Jody Light said. "I think we had a great crowd, great excitement. Making the kids happy, that's what's important."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Harlem Legend Larry “Shorty” Coleman poses before Friday’s game with audience members Ryan Strader, 11, back left, Corey Hissam, 13, back middle, and Ian Strader, 7, all of Buckhannon.
Marty Kelley of Kelly Motors said, "We almost beat 'em." She also said the Harlem Legends' camp was "out of this world."
The Harlem Legends visited Upshur County this year for a one-week camp through the Michael Douglas foundation. The camp was open to children ages 7 through 14. The children learned basketball and life skills during the camp.
Light said that the children who attended the camp had "tons of fun." She said parents of those children and others who didn't get to participate this year told her the camp should be an annual event. There already is talk of another Harlem Legends game and camp possibly in the works for next year.
Harlem Legend Antoine Scott said, "They (Upshur All-Stars) were very much the most competition I ever had in my life. Great group of guys. I'm looking forward to doing it again next year."
It wouldn't be a Harlem Legends game without confetti, water, purse snatching, ball handling tricks and random dancing. The Legends dragged audience members on the court to dance, "accidentally" spilled water on people watching the game from the front bleachers and sprinkled confetti on the audience as well.
"The Legends have been amazing," said Corey Hissam, 13, of Buckhannon.
Debra Godfrey of Weston, who was sprinkled with water, said, "I always liked them (Legends). They are still my number ones."
Two Davis & Elkins College basketball players took part in the game on opposing teams. Josh Wamsley played with the Harlem Legends Friday.
"It was fun. We always come out here and try to put on a good show and make it a good experience for all the people involved," Wamsley said.
Davis & Elkins College senior Shane Brown joined with the Upshur All-Stars this year, playing against his former teammate.
"I thought it was wonderful, a good cause for everybody," Brown said.
Fourteen other local individuals, dubbed the celebrities of Upshur County, also joined the Upshur All-Stars team this year, including Federal Bureau of Investigation Super Agent Scott Trent, Family Court Judge Bob Sowa, Deputy C.J. Day, Trooper Kenny Short, "Bub" Short, Marty Kelley of Kelley Motors, Scott Sheppard of Buckhannon Toyota, television anchor Jeff Schrock, radio personality Jack Logar, BUHS teacher Alisa Compton, BUHS football coach Brent Kimble, BUHS volunteer assistant boys basketball coach Bo Kessler, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School soccer coach Mike Donato and Upshur County Schools Superintendent Scott Lampinen.
"It was fun, a great community effort. The crowd was fantastic and the Legends were nothing but gentlemen on the floor," Lampinen said. "This program was not just for the kids that played, but the whole community."
Playing with Douglas, Scott and Wamsley for the Harlem Legends were Larry "Shorty" Coleman, Robert "Skywalker" Wallace, Tyrone "Hollywood" Brown and Elbert "Tree" Gordon. The game was refereed by Jimmy Bolden of Memphis, Tenn.
Many participants and organizers said they would like to thank the community for its support.